Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu here on Sunday dedicated the country’s longest electrified rail tunnel between Cherlopalli and Rapuru and the electrified railway line between Venkatachalam and Obulavaripalli.
Besides inaugurating the re-modelled yard at Guduru railway station, the Vice-President also flagged-off a new inter-city superfast express train between Guduru and Vijayawada.
Naidu termed the 6.7-km-long tunnel an “engineering marvel” and said it would provide viable rail connectivity between the Krishnapatnam Port and the hinterland for seamless movement of freight.
The tunnel, built at a cost of Rs 437 crore, has 44 trolley refuges and 14 cross-passages in a horseshoe design.
“I am overwhelmed with emotion as my long-cherished childhood dream has now come true,” the Vice-President remarked, recalling his trip on the newly-commissioned Obulavaripalli-Krishnapatnam line on Saturday evening.
“I am emotional because the railway line passes through my native and ancestral villages where I spent my childhood.
At that time nobody had even imagined that a train would be passing these hillocks one day.
“When I was minister (in the erstwhile Vajpayee government) this line was envisaged, planned, surveyed and sanctioned. It is finally completed when I am the Vice-President now,” Naidu recalled.
The Vice-President said his next priority would be to get the crucial Nadikudi-Srikalahasthi new railway line project completed expeditiously as it would ensure development of the upland regions of Andhra Pradesh.
A South Central Railway release said on the occasion that the 112-km new line reduces travel time from 10 to five hours for a goods train from Krishnapatnam Port to Obulavaripalli.
It was completed at a cost of Rs 1,993 crore, with nine railway stations along the route, 146 bridges, 60 road-under-bridges and two tunnels.
A salient feature is that the line has no level crossings.
It also reduces the distance by 72 km for trains coming from Guntakal Division to Krishnapatnam and eases traffic density in the Obulavaripalli-Renigunta-Gudur section.
Besides facilitating operation of freight trains on Obulavaripalli-Venkatachalam-Krishnapatnam Port route, the new line would also provide the shortest path on the Chennai-Howrah and Chennai-Mumbai rail routes, the SCR release said.
It would also ease congestion of both passenger and freight carrying trains in Vijayawada-Gudur-Renigunta-Guntakal sections.
Union Ministers of State Suresh C Angadi (Railway), G Kishan Reddy (Home), AP Water Resources Minister P Anil Kumar, South Central Railway General Manager Gajanan Mallya, MPs, legislators and other officials attended the event.